Dr Gilles Hilary MBA

Gilles Hilary is an Associate Professor in accounting at INSEAD since 2010 and guest lecturer on the EMBA (Fashion) at LCF.

On Tuesday 14th January 2014, Gilles Hilary delivered his lecture to London College of Fashion’s EMBA students, regarding, Financial Statement Analysis. We met with Gilles before he began the lecture, and asked him a few questions about himself, why he feels the EMBA course is so important, and the topics covered in the lecture.

Tell us about your career path so far?

I started in public accounting about 20 years ago. After a few years, I went back to school to get my PhD at the University of Chicago. Afterwards, I moved to Hong Kong and worked at the University of Science and Technology there. I went back to Europe about 4 years ago and I've been working at INSEAD since then. For my research, I've being doing work on how people use financial information and also how people misuse financial information. In terms of teaching, I work on governance and also on straight accounting.

How will the EMBA Fashion be useful for a career in business?

So, financial accounting is essentially the language of business; I think it's going to be useful in at least three ways. Firstly, it's going to be useful if you manage your own business; if you manage your business you need to understand what's going on. It's going to be also useful if you start your own business and you want to get investors to help develop your venture; you need to be able to talk their language. And finally, you might get into ventures with other partners and you need to understand what’s going on in their organisation.

Can you give a brief synopsis of what your lecture will cover?

So I'll basically be talking about two things, the first thing would be an introduction to financial accounting, so we're going to take an annual report and figure out what an income statement is, how to read a statement and a cash flow and so on; that's essentially what the first half of the presentation is. The second half will be more about understanding and interpreting the numbers; we're going to evaluate two companies and figure out their strengths and weaknesses.

Interview by Olexandra Solomka, MA History and Culture of Fashion (now MA Fashion Cultures)